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Fighting the depression with a positive approach to business
The New York Stock Exchange crashed on October 24, 1929, spreading panic among the world's financial markets. The already weakened Japanese economy was thrown into disarray. Prices plummeted, employee rolls were slashed throughout the country, and many factories were closed.
Panasonicfs sales declined, and by the end of December its warehouses were over flowing with unsold stock. Company executives could see no solution other than staff cutbacks, but Matsushfta told them, "Cut production by half starting now, but do not dismiss even a single employee. We'll halve production not by laying off workers, but having them work only half days. We will continue to pay the same wages they are getting now, but there will be no holidays. All employees should do their best to sell inventory."
Employees threw themselves into the sales effort with fierce determination. Within two months, the excess inventories were gone and demand had recovered, allowing full-scale production to resume.
At the beginning of January 1931, the company celebrated its first shipment of the year to throw off the despair of the depression-a tradition that lasted up until 1965.
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